Colorado Marijuana Law Point Of Contention During GOP Debate; Bush Smoked 40 Years Ago

CALIFORNIA: Colorado’s recreational marijuana law took center stage for a time during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night.

It certainly was a political point of contention.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his position that if he’s elected president, he would enforce the federal law and make it illegal to smoke marijuana recreationally in Colorado.

Jeb Bush voted against legalizing marijuana in Florida, but he argued Colorado could make its own decisions. Then Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul went on the offensive.

“Gov. Christie would go into the state of Colorado and if you’re breaking any federal law, even though the state law allows it, he would put you in jail,” Paul said.

GOP Contenders Just Saying No To Fight Against Pot

GOP presidential candidates are by and large staying away from the debate over marijuana legalization, an issue once embraced by Republican occupants of the White House. 

They have stayed largely silent as support for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana has gained public support. 
 
Fifty-three percent of adults nationwide say marijuana should be legal, while 43 percent say the opposite, according to a CBS News poll from April.  
 
A Pew Research Center poll from March found a similar margin. 
 
Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and Alaska have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while another five will vote on the question in 2016. 
 
Only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and long-shot candidate former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) support a federal crackdown on state policies legalizing cannabis, which is still classified as a Schedule I drug — the most dangerous category, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. 
 

Chris Christie To Legal Marijuana Smokers: Enjoy It While You Can Because He’ll Enforce Federal Ban

NEW JERSEY: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is attracting attention to his struggling presidential campaign by making it clear he doesn’t want to recognize state laws legalizing recreational marijuana.

In town hall meetings in New Hampshire and an appearance on Fox News this week, Christie said that if elected, he intends to overturn state marijuana legalization laws, which have been passed in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska.

“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it until Jan. 17 of 2017,” Christie told an audience in Newport, N.H., on Tuesday, “because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana as president of the United States.”

Legalized Marijuana Would Be Eliminated Under A Christie Presidency

NEW JERSEY: Gov. Chris Christie vowed Sunday to eliminate legalized marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington if he’s elected president.

The governor, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said his administration would use federal rules that outlaw marijuana to clamp down on states that legalized recreational pot use.

“Yes sir,” Christie told host John Dickerson when asked whether he’d go after Colorado and Washington.

“If you were president would you return the federal prosecutions in the states of Colorado, Washington states?” Dickerson asked.

“Yes,” Christie said.

NJ Gov Christie Says Medical Marijuana Programs Are ‘Front For Legalization’

NEW JERSEY: Following reports that New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is suffering from low enrollment, Gov. Chris Christie called the program and similar programs across the U.S. “a front for legalization.”

New Jersey passed its medical marijuana law in 2009, and former Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, signed it just before Christie, a Republican, took office. The first dispensary opened in December 2012, with predictions that the drug could help tens of thousands of patients in the state with severe or painful illnesses.

But The Star-Ledger reported on Sunday that only 2,342 patients have signed up for the program.

And last week, the president and chief executive of Compassionate Care Foundation, Inc. of Egg Harbor Township — one of the state’s three medical marijuana dispensaries — announced he had quit because he couldn’t keep working for no pay in a struggling industry.

Christie said it’s clear there is not a demand for medical pot.

Fox Slams NJ Gov Chris Christie’s Pot Brutality and Ignorance

NEW JERSEY: Though Fox news is more or less consistently prohibitionist, Fox correspondent Greg Gutfeld gets it right and shames thuggish Governor Chris Christie on his refusal to stop destroying innocent – and mostly minority – people’s lives for choosing a safer buzz than alcohol.

 

NJ Gov Chris Christie Rips Colorado ‘Head Shops’

NEW JERSEY: Chris Christie just isn’t really a Rocky Mountain kind of guy.

The New Jersey governor, asked about Colorado’s marijuana legalization, slammed the state, criticizing its “quality of life.”

“See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high,” Christie said on a local radio show in New Jersey on Monday, according to CNN. “To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.”

In The Weeds: Republicans Paul, Christie, Perry Open To Softer Pot Laws Ahead Of 2016

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Republicans eyeing the White House in 2016 are pushing their party to change its stance and accept a softening of federal marijuana laws — a dramatic shift from the GOP’s most recent contenders who railed against the drug and questioned its medicinal value.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has arguably been the most vocal on the subject, saying the federal government should leave the issue entirely to the states. Texas Gov. Rick Perry also argues that marijuana’s legal status should be a state issue, and he points to drug courts in his state that he said have helped move Texas toward decriminalization. [Read more…]

New Jersey Cannabis Reformer Governor Vetoes Industrial Hemp Bill

By Michael Chazukow 

NEW JERSEY:  Most cameras in Trenton were fixed on Governor Christie’s scandal hearings last week.   The “Bridge-gate” controversy as well as allegations that he misused Sandy Relief funds has been so dominant in the news that the excellent work of our legislature was being overlooked.  Controversy hearings dominated our capitol last week, and the Governor’s second term inauguration events were also well covered.  So as usual, mainstream media was too pre-occupied to report Chris Christie’s actions to double-down on our state’s draconian cannabis laws.

Last week, two cannabis reform bills were passed through the NJ Legislature:  S1220 would have “required registered qualifying patient’s authorized use of medical marijuana to be considered equivalent to use of any other prescribed medication and not the use of an illicit substance that would otherwise disqualify a qualifying patient from needed medical care, including organ transplants.” [Read more…]